How to kill a weed with heat?

How to kill a weed with heat?

To really understand how weed control can be used most effectively, it is useful to understand the basic parts of a plant and the requirements of a plant to grow. With this knowledge, we can develop strategies to interrupt the natural plant cycle.

Parts of a plant

Plant structure

Each part of the plant has a different function

• Roots

The roots anchor the plants in the soil and absorb nutrients and water that are needed by the rest of the plant

• Stems

Stems support the upper part of the plant and act as a transport system for nutrients, water, sugar, and starches

• Leaves

Leaves are the parts of the plant where photosynthesis usually occurs - where food for the plant is made. The green substance, chlorophyll, captures light energy and uses it to convert water and carbon dioxide into plant food and oxygen

• Flowers

Flowers are the reproductive part of plants. They often have showy petals and fragrances to attract pollinators such as birds, bees, and other insects

• Fruits

Fruits are the fleshy substances that usually surround seeds. They protect the seeds and attract animals to eat them. This helps in seed dispersal

• Seeds

Seeds may be surrounded by fruit and contain plant material that can develop into another plant.

Plant requirements

The basic requirements of plants to grow are room to grow, access to light, air, water and nutrients.

• Room to grow

The above ground portions of the plant need space so leaves can expand and gather the sun’s energy to carry out the job of making food. Roots also need room to grow to provide sufficient access to water and nutrients.

• Light

Plants need light. They use light energy to change carbon dioxide and water into food. This process of food production is called photosynthesis.

• Water

Water is essential to all life on earth. No known organism can exist without water. Plants use water for many life processes, including moving nutrients throughout the plant.

• Air

Green plants take in carbon dioxide from air and use it during photosynthesis to make food.

• Nutrients

Most of the nutrients that a plant needs are taken up by the plant through its roots.

Back to the question "How to kill a weed with heat?"

By removing one or more of the plant requirements we can seriously affect the plants ability to survive.

When applying heat we are mainly looking to treat the leaves. 

This is where photosynthesis takes place - converting sunlight into energy.  By applying heat to the leaf we can make the cells within the plant coagulate of burst, making it impossible for the plant to photosynthesise. 

Without this ability the plant will die.

Some plants store a lot of energy in their roots and will regrow using this stored energy - repeated application of heat will fatigue the plant until it has used its entire store of energy.  At this point the weed will not be able to regrow.

You can find out more about our weed burners here

For more information on any of our articles or products, please contact us;
Phone: 0118 9869 253

Dead weed

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The 3 biggest threats to surface performance



Kersten launches "The Surface Maintenance Handbook"

This comprehensive handbook will be your year round companion
to surface maintenance. It outlines the 3 biggest threats to your
surfaces and exactly what you can do to tackle them.

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How to kill a weed?

To really understand how weed control can be used most effectively, it is useful to understand the basic parts of a plant and the requirements of a plant to grow. With this knowledge, we can develop strategies to interrupt the natural plant cycle.

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Why choose a Kersten Weedbrush?

Why choose a Kersten WeedBrush?

When moss and weeds become established on hard surfaces they are difficult to remove with a sweeper.

For this application we have made the Weedbrush.

Kersten WeedBrushes have been designed to quickly remove weeds and moss, along with the soil they grow in from hard surfaces like tarmac and block paving. We achieve this with several features not typically found on other Weedbrushes.

VersaBrush – The WeedBrush is fitted with VersaBrushes. These brush sections are composed of two wire types. Thick flat wires are used to cut the weeds and soil from the surface and removes the material; like using many tiny shovels. Thinner wire then sweeps the surface clean. The more soil that we can remove the longer the surface will remain free of weeds.

Angling – The WeedBrush can be angled in all directions for getting into cracks and crevices’. Using the brush on an angle allows it to penetrate the joints in surfaces such as block paving and cope with cambers.

Pressure – Brush height and pressure is controlled by an adjustable castor wheel placed close to the brush and a weight on top. This allows the pressure to be adjusted to suit the application, achieving a perfect combination of cleaning performance and brush life.

Stone guard – To reduce stone throwing, our WeedBrushes rotate at very low speeds of between 180 – 400 rpm. Because of the high torque, we are still able to achieve a great finish, but the lower speed gives much less energy to stones and other debris so they are not turned into dangerous projectiles. A protective guard also helps to keep material close to the brush, so the arisings are easy to clean up after WeedBrushing. The slow rotation speed has the added benefit of creating less vibration.

Just add water – By adding water the WeedBrush is able to scrub dirt and algae from surfaces such as sandstone and other paving.

Click here to see our range of WeedBrushes!

For more information on any Kersten articles or products, please contact us directly: 
Phone: 0118 9869 253

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Creating a weed control strategy for all seasons; Pesticide Free

If you are used to a spraying schedule, then putting together another sort of Weed elimination strategy can be a bit daunting. But if you go back to basics, it's quite simple.

Weeds use a combination of natural processes to grow. If we can disrupt these processes we can eliminate the weeds effectively.

1. The soil cycle.

It is soil which provides most of the nutrients and water storage that gives weeds the opportunity to grow on hard surfaces. A clean hard surface such as tarmac or block paving has no nutrients to offer an opportunistic weed.

But how does the soil get there?

This video gives us a good display of what occurs over the course of just a couple of months to organic matter from trees, grass, hedges and other plant sources when it is left to decompose.

Click Here to watch!

In the Summer and Autumn, organic debris is constantly being left on the surface in the form of grass cuttings, hedge clippings, leaves etc. When these decompose into soil, it gives an opportunity for weeds to grow.

The easiest way to reduce weeds is by eliminating these opportunities. Collecting detritus shortly after it is dropped by vacuuming or sweeping is a simple way to tackle this. When the soil is firmly established, such as a build up on path edges, or in gaps between block paving then it must be removed by another method such as weed brushing.

Weed brushing can be done in the winter. All the annual plants will be gone, so it is easier to see the offending soil and remaining established weeds. Doing this in winter also gives you a head start, as the first new weeds won't begin to grow until spring. If they have nothing to grow in, you have won half the battle already.

2. The plant life cycle.

 While plants life cycles are continuous, a plant’s life begins with the seed. With water, right temperature and right location, the seed grows. It becomes a seedling. Roots push down into the ground to get water and minerals. The stem reaches for the sun, and leaves begin to unfold. A bud appears. The plants then produce flowers. The flowers are then pollinated in many ways – by bees, moths, butterflies, insects, moths, bats, butterflies and even by the wind. The pollinated flower turns into fruit. The new seeds are inside the fruit. The ripe fruit drops to the ground and the cycle begins again.

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For annual plants the plant life cycle will all happen within a few months. Our best chance at interrupting this cycle and preventing new growth is to eliminate the plant before it seeds.

Most seeds will germinate and begin to grow in the spring and will be dropping seeds by late summer. Therefore, the best time to kill the plant is in spring. We can do this in one of several ways.

  • A plant needs; Light, Air, Water, Nutrients and Warmth in order to survive. We can kill a plant by depriving it of any of these things.

If a plant has soil, it is quite difficult to deprive the plant of water, nutrients, water and warmth when it is outside. The easiest one to go for is light. We can do this either by;

  • Covering the plant so that no light can reach it.
  • Destroying the chlorophyll in the plant which does the job of processing the sunlight and turning it into energy (Photosynthesis).

Option 2 is by far the more viable for larger areas and can be achieved by exposing the plant to high temperatures.

No alt text provided for this image

A common misconception is that the plant has to be visibly scorched before it will suffer. The fact is, a plant leaf only has to be briefly exposed to a temperature of around 80°C to suffer terminal damage. This exposure to severe heat bursts the cells in the plant leaf. This in turn renders the plant incapable of converting light energy in to chemical energy (Photosynthesis) effectively causing starvation.

Further thought and research on this subject will reveal this method is most effective on young, fleshy, hungry plants rather than old established woody plants, which may have sufficient amounts of stored energy in their stems and roots to overcome temporary food shortages.  The earlier in the plant life cycle we treat the plant, the more effective the treatment will be.

As plants emerge at different times in spring and different plants will take varying numbers of treatments due to the energy stored in the roots, it is good practise to carry out several treatments of heat throughout the spring season.

From all this knowledge we can determine the most effective strategy for weed elimination.

The effective regime;

Winter - Weedbrushing and collection of soil, which will prevent opportunities for weed growth.

Spring - Several treatments with heat such as a weed burner, which will kill the emerging weeds before they seed.

Summer - Sweeping grass cuttings, hedge clippings and other organic debris to prevent this from being allowed to decompose and form more soil.

Autumn - Collecting dead leaves and other organic debris that naturally falls from deciduous and annual plants in Autumn to prevent this from being allowed to decompose and form more soil.

For more information about maintaining surfaces; check out our surface maintenance handbook click here.

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Why is a clear kerb important?

Kerb Edging - Why is a clear kerb important?

Wow! There's a kerb!

A kerb is expensive to install, so someone put it there for a reason...
In low-speed environments, kerbs are effective at channelling traffic and can provide some re-directive capacity for low-speed impacts. On higher speed roads, the main function of curbs is to provide drainage and they are mostly used in areas of a bridge approach or other locations with erosion risk. In both these cases a hidden kerb is not performing it's function. This material will be preventing water run off, blocking drains and will act more like a ramp than a re-directive for traffic! So having a clear Kerb is important.

It also looks much more attractive to have a crisp clean kerb! A weedbrush is the perfect tool for keeping a kerb clear, but some weedbrushes are designed for heavier work than others. The UBS is designed to deal with heavy soil all day long, while being easy on the operator. For more information on the UBS and weedbrush please check out this link;

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Why we're on LinkedIn

We are on LinkedIn to help solve our customers' problems.

We know that every connection we make on LinkedIn is the start of a journey.  

When someone connects with us on LinkedIn it is usually because they are aware of a problem in their business that we might be able to help them solve.  It may be an artificial tennis court that has problems with drainage, or block paving that is slippery and covered in moss. 

Whatever it is, there are several key stages in a customer's journey to solving their problem, and LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to help them get to the next stage.  We love to solve problems, that's why we love LinkedIn!

The stages are;

Problem aware - The customer may be aware of the problem, but it can be very helpful to explore it with them to uncover the cause.  LinkedIn allows us to talk about specific problems like detritus build up, surface compaction and surface displacement, which lead to weeds, drainage problems and cause damage to hard surfaces over time.  An article or a video is a great way to get this information across.

Solution aware - Once we truly understand the problem, we can help the customer to explore the different ways to solve the problem.  Each situation is a little unique and so problems that look similar on the surface sometimes have different solutions.  LinkedIn is a great place to discuss particular scenarios and get into a back and forth discussion.  

Product aware - Once a customer has identified a solution that will meet their specific needs then we can help guide them to a product that will deliver that solution.  We can do this by sharing information on what makes our products different and why this matters.  Videos are great for this.

Fully aware - Once a customer has narrowed down a product, there is still work for us to do.  We can help them find a dealer close to them who will provide great backup and help them purchase the machine.  We can also post content about looking after the machines and getting the best from them.  

By using LinkedIn as a way to build this relationship with our customers, it let's us focus on using the website as a resource for sharing links and documents relating to more than just the product.  

For help with your own grounds maintenance problems, please get in touch.

0118 9869 253

Or check us out on LinkedIn.

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How to choose a sweeper

Which Kersten sweeper will fit my tractor? 
It's as easy as 1. 2. 3.

There are  a few things we need to consider when choosing the correct sweeper for your tractor.

Use the Catalogue or the website to help you.

1. What Horsepower is the tractor?

We have grouped our sweepers by brush diameter.  The larger the horsepower of the tractor, the larger diameter brush it has the power to operate. Below is a table of which sweeper diameters relate to which horsepower bracket.  
It is not an exact science, and there is some overlap.  Things like the physical size of the tractor and the hydraulic flow will also be factors to consider when deciding which brush is most appropriate.

Ride on Mowers 37cm Diameter (Front)
15-40 HP 45cm (Front) - 40cm (Rear)
30-50 HP 50cm (Front) - 52cm (Rear)
50-80 HP 60L cm (Front) - 52cm (Rear)
70-130 HP 60 cm (Front) - 60cm (Rear)
130 HP +70 cm (Front)

2. Front or back?

Once we have narrowed down what diameter of brush we want, we must then decide how it will fit.

There are two key questions here;

How will I lift and lower the sweeper?

Sweepers must be lifted and lowered by some kind of linkage.  This linkage can be fitted to the front or the rear of the tractor, it might use an A frame, or 3 point linkage, it could be the lift arms on an out-front mower, it could be the loader...  Whatever it is you will need to choose the correct bracket to fit between the sweeper and the tractor.  Some brushes are only designed to go on the rear, or the front of a machine (as indicated in the table above).

How will the sweeper be powered?

A sweeper needs power in the form of hydraulics or mechanical PTO.  You must consider whether this can be supplied easily at the same place as the linkage.  Often tractors will need to be fitted with additional hydraulic fittings to power the sweeper and accessories.  Do you have enough connections?  Is there enough oil flow?

Sometimes a front PTO might need to be connected to an existing mid PTO, or run off an engine.  Each tractor will have a slightly different standard configuration, so it is important to check what is on the tractor and what solutions are available to get the correct solution.

After deciding which how you will power the brush, you can choose a hydraulic drive or PTO drive brush to suit the tractor on the front or the rear of the tractor.

3. What width sweeper?

We offer sweepers from 75cm all the way up to 3.0 meters.  It is important that the width is matched to the brush.  This is a simple case of making sure that the sweeper is just slightly wider than the tractor.  It is important to note that tractors can be different widths depending on what tires are fitted, so putting a tape measure across the front is helpful.

Some power units, such as out-front mowers don't have a very large lift capacity, if you are looking to add a collector box, this will add quite a bit of weigh to the brush, so a narrower model might need to be chosen in some circumstances.

Let's take an example;

In the picture is a TYM T293.

1. What is the horsepower?
We know this is 29HP, so according to the table and the book, we might either fit a 45cm Diameter brush on the front, or a 40cm Diameter brush on the rear.

2. Front or Back?

The TYM T293 has a rear linkage as standard, with a rear PTO, so this might be a simple option.  

But the tractor can also have a linkage fitted to the front with a Cat 0 A-frame connection.  The tractor also has a mid mounted PTO as standard.  We can get a kit to extend this to the front, giving us a front Mechanical PTO to drive the sweeper.  This all adds expense, but in many cases it would be worth it.  So now we have two options.  

Let's assume we chose the front mounted option;

We can now narrow the diameter down to only the 45cm series brush, with Mechanical drive as we know it is being mounted on the front and powered by a mechanical PTO.  

We know the linkage uses a CAT 0 A-frame connection, so we must choose an "ABR 45 KD" bracket in order to fit the sweeper to the linkage.

3. What width sweeper?

A front linkage like this has plenty of lift capacity, so even if we go with a collector box we can lift a full width brush.

Therefore we want the width of the sweeper to be just wider than the tractor.  Which in this case is 143cm.  

The closest size above this is a 150cm sweeper.

So now we know that we need a 150cm brush, 45cm diameter, with mechanical PTO Drive fitted to a front CAT 0 A-Frame linkage.

There is only one model that fits the description.

You will need this sweeper - KM 15045 M-ABR 45

and this bracket - ABR 45 KD

If in any doubt, please call us and we will be happy to help you identify the correct sweeper for your tractor.

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What is Integrated Weed Management?

Integrated Weed Management Is coming... But what is it?

Weed management is going through a transition... the mindset is shifting from strict reliance on treating existing problems, to placing a much greater emphasis on prevention and reduction of weed emergence.  In conjunction with this change, public pressure is building to reduce or even eliminate the amount of pesticides used to control weeds.  

Out of this mindset change; is emerging an approach called Integrated Weed Management, which uses a holistic approach to managing weeds through Cultural, Biological, Mechanical and Chemical controls.  All with a focus on Prevention.

How can you prevent a weed?

A weed is simply a plant in the wrong place.  Weeds are opportunists and will grow wherever conditions allow, so we can reduce the weeds by controlling the environmental conditions to make growth less likely.

Mechanical prevention;

One way this can be done is by removing the soil that the weeds grow in.  By sweeping we can keep hard surfaces clean and free from detritus that could decompose and become soil.  By removing the soil we can greatly reduce opportunities for weed growth.  Thermal weed control also comes under the mechanical umbrella.  Heat can be used to prevent a seed from producing a plant.  At about 70-80 degrees the cells within the seed coagulate and are no longer able to function, so seeds are rendered useless.  

Cultural Prevention;

Cultural prevention might include anything we can use in the environment to reduce weeds, such as a membrane under gravel surfaces, which allows drainage, but prevents weeds from growing up from underneath.  Other things might involve getting locals involved in keeping their own areas tidy, hedges pruned etc to prevent detritus build up. Controlling traffic flow and effective water drainage can also have an impact.

Biological Prevention;

This involves the use of natural enemies to different plant types; for example deer, sheep or different types of insect can be used to control certain types of plant.  Natural ecosystems are a delicate balance and introducing a predator of some kind into the chain can have great benefits to the overall ecosystem; in this case, a reduction in weeds.

Chemical Prevention;

Chemical prevention refers to herbicides that are applied to the plant or surface to control the growth or germination of weed species. 

An integrated approach uses all or a mixture of these techniques to prevent weed growth.  Different strategies work well at different times of year and an annual plan can be put in place if the specific conditions of your environment are known.  Sometimes it is more appropriate for one approach to be dominant, at others a more balanced approach is required.

Check out our Surface maintenance handbook for a more in depth look;

If you would like help in planning an integrated approach to weed control please get in touch!

0118 9869 253

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Ripagreen Weed Control from Kersten

Kersten to launch new weed control product at Saltex 2019

The unique High Velocity Heating System designed by Ripagreen insures speed, comfort and efficiency for all your thermal weed control operations.

The Ripagreen system may be used in a similar way the a knapsack sprayer but provides many advantages.

  1. Ripagreen is effective when applied in the rain.
  2. Ripagreen may be applied in moderate wind conditions.
  3. Ripagreen system does not require specialist qualifications or licencing to apply it. 

Thermal weed control should be used as part of an integrated weed control system and may be considered  “chemical free”.

The Ripagreen Technology

The use of heat to control unwanted plant growth has been around for many years and was certainly in use before the widespread use of inorganic  chemicals.

A common misconception is that the plant has to be visibly scorched before it will suffer. The fact is, a plant leaf only has to be briefly exposed to a  temperature of around 80°C to suffer terminal damage.

This exposure to severe heat bursts the cells in the plant leaf. This in turn  renders the plant incapable of converting light energy in to chemical energy  (Photosynthesis) effectively causing starvation.

Further thought and research on this subject will reveal this method is most effective on young, fleshy, hungry plants rather than old established woody plants, which may have sufficient amounts of stored energy in their stems and roots to overcome temporary food shortages.

The Ripagreen technology utilises simple propane gas combustion alongside a natural air pressure differential effect (venturi) to surround the targeted weed with a high velocity of heated gas (air). The large amounts of air being passed through the lance ensure that the lance is safe to touch. This patented technology ensures maximum effect using the minimum amount of fuel.

The innovation and goal to make this an effective weed control solution does not end there. Ripagreen have developed every detail of their products to be simple to use and comfortable to operate. Operator effort, fatigue and discomfort is reduced to an absolute minimum when the unique Ripagreen kits are used.

Three styles of storage and application systems are currently available.

1)  EASY KIT - Consists of a trolley which mounts the 13kg LPG fuel cylinder and provides a support for the thermal hand lance. The trolley may be pushed or pulled. The thermal lance includes a 4 metre gas hose and may be used two handed to work around the trolley.

2) MOBILITY KIT - Consists of a high specification backpack to support the Ripagreen Mini thermal lance for one hand operation and a light weight LPG cylinder with 5kg capacity. The whole kit with a full gas cylinder weighs less than 12kg. 

3) AUTONOMY KIT - Consists of  vehicle mounting system for the LPG cylinder with a 15 metre automatic hose reel  and a Ripagreen thermal lance.

Ripgreen Kits start at £1995.00 available from Kersten UK Ltd

Kersten are inviting interest from UK dealers to distribute Ripagreen.

Find full catalogue here...

Link to Photo Ripagreen Thermal Lance weed control system

Ripagreen Thermal Lance for weed control

"Link to Photo Ripagreen Mobility Kit Thermal Lance weed control system"

Ripagreen Mobility kit thermal weed control


Find more information about Ripagreen Weed Control Here......

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The new RIPAGREEN range from Kersten

The RIPAGREEN Mobility Kit is a direct replacement for the nap sack sprayer - without the chemicals.  
With a lighter burden on your back, more comfort and able to be used in a greater range of weathers.

The NEW Mobility Kit has a patented ergonomic harness, making work considerably easier and ensuring comfort to the operator.

It does this by;

Carrying a propane tank which gives the operator true mobility during use

A rotating support arm capable of 180 degrees of sweeping motion allowing the user to operate the Mini-Thermal Lance with one hand.

Adjustable pneumatic back support to promote comfort, posture and reduce fatigue.

Using adjustable bungee cables from the support arm to the Mini-Thermal Lance allowing the user to change application angle and height at will.

 The Ripagreen Mobility Kit can be used in conjunction with the Easy Kit Mobile Cart, allowing a larger amount of gas to easily be transported. This enables the user to control much larger areas of weed and vegetation growth at a time.

Because this method uses hot air to burst the cells in the plant - there is no problem using it in wet conditions. In fact, the water even helps conduct the heat.  

Speak to our sales team today to discuss the models available.

More information about the RIPAGREEN can be found here

Watch the RIPAGREEN in action 

View the RIPAGREEN catalogue here

Retail from £1995.00 + VAT

Contact us on email;
or by phone; 0118 9869 253

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NEW De-Moss 390 - Everything you need to know

What is the De-Moss 390?

The De-Moss 390 is a simple, light to use, petrol engine weedbrush. It has six quick release hawser brushes in a machined aluminium housing, that is encased in a 2-part shield. When the left head cover is removed and the swinging axle has been re-positioned, the wall/kerb edge cleaning can begin.

What does it do?

The De-Moss 390 is used for speedy removal of weeds, moss and detritus from hard surfaces such as block paving, tarmac and concrete. The material, both dead and growing, on and above the surface will easily be removed by the heavy-duty hawser brushes. Once the overburden has been removed a clear weed free surface will be revealed.

Why is it different?

The De-Moss 390 a physically light and powerful, high speed weedbrush capable of removing moss as well as plant matter. The belt drive to the weed head keeps the RPM well below engine speed, as well as limiting the torque that can be applied so reducing the potential for damage. The individual wire hawsers can be replaced in seconds using the tool attached to the machine and can only be fitted one way.Adjustable handles allow different height operators to work comfortably and then can be folded flat for transport and reduces size for storage.The large wheels on the swinging axle, give easy forward motion as well as simple adjustment of the weed head position; this adjustment gives the ability to work in a varying terrain.

Uses for the DE-Moss 390

  1. Moss removal
  2. Surface weed and plants removal
  3. Reinvigorating the visual appearance of tired block paving
  4. Wall to path, or kerb edge weed/grass removal
  5. Path edge recovery
  6. Improving kerb appeal
  7. Chemical free weed control
  8. Clearing dead plant stalks on block paving

Where to use the DE-Moss 390

  1. Caravan Parks, pathways parking areas and bases
  2. Holiday homes and parks
  3. Public parks with little used block paving
  4. Home drives
  5. Block Paving
  6. Paths Concrete
  7. Car Parks
  8. Hard surface areas to remove overgrown weeds.
  9. Cemetery
  10. Crematorium
  11. Foot paths
  12. Church Yard paths

Best Areas for use

  1. Block paving drive
  2. Holiday Caravan park
  3. Caravan parks
  4. Tarmac paths
  5. Hard solid foot paths
  6. Weed overgrown concrete
  7. Hard surface area where there is very little loose hard material

The De-Moss 390 is a machine for rapid removal of moss and over surface weeds, especially the dead stalks, from hard solid surface. The over burden will quickly be cleared to the base, where it can be swept or blown away.


For more information on the De-Moss 390 click here...

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